French alternate aviation fuels research to begin in December

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A French alternative-fuels project involving laboratory-scale testing of blended fuels, second-generation biofuels and other candidates is to get under way by December.

Known as CALIN, the project involves French aerospace research agency ONERA, propulsion company Snecma and members of the country's Aerospace Valley group.

Launched by the Aerospace Valley group of businesses from the Midi-Pyrenees and Aquitaine areas of south-west France, CALIN will improve the understanding of the different fuels' kinetic properties, emissions and combustion characteristics to help computer modelling. There are no demonstration engines or flight trials involved.

"The next step after CALIN is the [European Union] project Alfa-bird," says Snecma research and technology vice-president Serge Eury.

Alfa-Bird (alternative fuels and biofuels for aircraft development) is a planned EU Seventh Framework research project to investigate the economic and industrial consequences of switching from today's kerosene-based jet fuels to biofuels and other alternatives.

CALIN is part of the Aerospace Valley's energy and propulsion activity, which in turn is one of nine areas of aerospace research and development the group has under way.